Pelham woman opens pet pantry to help animals facing food insecurity

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PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — After cleaning out her garage in December, Sheila Montgomery decided to store and distribute pet food donations for people in need.

Montgomery told CBS 42 that many owners are forced to surrender their pets due to food insecurity and she wants to do her part to decrease the number of animals being surrendered to area shelters.

“I could not imagine giving my dog up because I couldn’t feed her,” Montgomery said. “It is horrifying.”

There is a large blue storage bin in her front yard marked “PET PANTRY” that she uses as a donation dropbox. Montgomery said donations can also be dropped off at the new Starbucks on Pelham Parkway.

She said people often feel the need to explain why they are in need, but she does not want anyone to feel shameful or guilty reaching out to her for help.

“Life happens to us all and if you need it you can have it and if you’ve got it, you give it,” Montgomery said. “It’s that simple.”

Recipients only need to sign a sheet of paper listing what they take.

“These are regular people just like me who struggle every month to pay our bills and something has happened so they just need a little bit to get them by,” Montgomery said.

Her program benefits only individuals, regardless of their income. She is currently seeking more donations to help more people.

For more information, you can visit her Facebook page. If you would like to reach out to her directly, you can email sheilamontgomery41@gmail.com.


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